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Assistance for asbestos sufferers

A new national nurses’ forum which will extend support and resources to asbestos sufferers has been established.

The Australia and New Zealand - Lung Cancer Nurses Forum (ANZ-LCNF has been established to provide a forum for specialist nurses working with people affected by lung cancer and mesothelioma.

The forum will aim to promote a standardised, evidence-based approach to care delivery for patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Margaret Kent, national practice group leader at leading asbestos law firm Slater & Gordon, said the group was important given there were predictions that the number of asbestos victims would peak in the next decade.

“Mesothelioma is a terrible and aggressive disease with only five per cent of victims surviving five years after a diagnosis,” Kent said.

“With incidence rates not expected to peak in Australia until 2017, we can expect to see many more innocent people dying over the next decade.”

Kent said a key objective would be to develop educational resources for patients, their families and carers and for nurses.

She said the new group also planned to establish a communication forum for nurses working in lung cancer and mesothelioma care.

“The group will contribute to a national voice on strategic and clinically relevant issues in the care of people affected by lung cancer and mesothelioma,” Kent said.

The group has representation from every State and Territory and New Zealand. Since 1980, 33,000 Australians have died from asbestos-related disease.

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